It is not easy for Christopher Froome to be number two in the 2012 Tour de France. He wants to be number one, but knows that this year that is not possible, as it is his duty to support Sky captain Bradley Wiggins. He sees his chance as team captain perhaps in the coming year.
“This is a very, very large sacrifice,” he told L'Equipe. “I know that I can win this Tour – but not with Sky. We made our plans around Wiggins and everyone respects that.”
But that is “difficult” because “you don't often have the chance in life to win a Tour. But that is my job.”
Why Wiggins this year and not Froome? “This Tour has more than 100 kilometers of time trial, so we made the internal decision that I would accompany Wiggins in the mountains with an even temp and that he would build up an advantage in the time trials and that way we will win the Tour.”
Froome hopes that it will perhaps be the other way around next year. The course for the 2013 Tour has not yet been announced, but as the 100th running, a challenging course is expected. “If if is mountainous, I hope that Sky will behave fairly and put all my teammates at my service. Wiggins is an honourable guy, he will pay me back for my work – I know that he will help me.”
According to Froome, climbing “is not ... (Wiggins') strength”, which opens a possibility for Froome this year. “If I have the feeling that we are losing the race, I will follow the best, whether that is Evans or Nibali,” he said. Not for himself, but “to keep our chances intact” and “to secure Sky's presence at the very front.”
But still, being the first Briton to win the Tour “could change my life. That is why it is such a large sacrifice.”